One-Time Waiver On Claiming Price Adopted For Resumption Of Racing

In light the shutdown of live racing at Laurel Park that began in mid-March, the Maryland Jockey Club and Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association have agreed on a policy designed to assist owners when racing resumes. The MTHA Board of Directors signed off on it May 1.

Under the policy, horses which have not run since March 15—the last day of racing at Laurel before the COVID-19 shutdown—may enter a claiming race and waive the claiming price if the horse is entered for a claiming price not less than the claiming price for its last start. For instance, if a horse raced for a $16,000 tag and is entered in a claiming race with a price of $16,000 or higher, the owner can opt to waive the claiming price.

The rule is only applicable for a horse’s first start back for a period of 90 days, starting with the first day live racing resumes in Maryland.

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May 2020 Newsletter Available

newsletter2020 5The May 2020 edition of the Horsemen's Newsletter is now online and available for download. To view this edition click herearrow

The Horsemen's Newsletter is published monthly by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and is mailed to licensed owners and trainers in the state of Maryland.

 

MTHA launches trainer commission deduction program

In advance of a resumption of live racing, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association has worked with the Maryland Jockey Club to develop a system that will allow trainers access to the standard commission from purses in a more timely manner.

The MTHA Board of Directors unanimously voted to implement the program, which permits the automatic deduction by the Horsemen’s Bookkeeper of the standard 10% gross commission for trainers from all starters that finish first, second or third in all overnight and stakes races after purses are released. The hope is that the program, similar to the one by which jockeys are paid, helps get money to trainers more expeditiously, especially during this difficult economic period.

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Gov. Hogan’s plan offers hope to resume live racing soon

The “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery” plan released April 24 by Gov. Larry Hogan outlines four building blocks and coronavirus (COVID-19) benchmarks that must be met before a three-stage reopening of businesses and restart of activities can begin, and the governor indicated he’s hopeful that can occur in early May.

The building blocks are procuring a sufficient amount of personal protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers, generating hospital surge capacity, having adequate testing capacity and having a robust contact-tracing program, according to the 30-page document. The building blocks work in conjunction with guidelines from the White House Coronavirus Task Force that state a 14-day downward trajectory of the metrics, or at least a plateauing, is required before recovery can move forward.

The key metrics in Maryland, Hogan said, are the rate of hospitalization and the number of patients admitted to intensive care units.

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MedStar offering online service for COVID-19 information

MedStar Health, which provides physicians for the Maryland Horsemen’s Health System, is offering an online service to provide important information on coronavirus (COVID-19).

Users can check their symptoms and access details about COVID-19, read about ways to avoid infection, learn about testing and recovery, and sign up for text alerts related to the virus.

The “check symptoms” program link is available here

The primary MedStar COVID-19 information web page is available here.

MJC: Imperative masks to be worn in stable area of Laurel Park and Pimlico

As part of coronavirus (COVID-19) health and safety protocol issued by the Maryland Jockey Club and its parent company, The Stronach Group, it is imperative that all persons in the stable area at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course wear face coverings.

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association earlier arranged for the making and shipment of reusable face masks for use by those who work on the backstretch. They were distributed by MJC security staff to backstretch workers, trainers, assistant trainers, exercise riders and others, and more are available. Costs were funded by the Maryland Horsemen's Assistance Foundation.

“Based on the protocols at other Stronach Group tracks, everybody should be wearing a face covering,” MJC Director of Security Major Mike Singletary said. “And if we’re trying to get back to having live racing, this is one of the initiatives set forth by the governor. If anyone needs a mask, they should ask a member of the security team. Stock is available. If masks are provided, masks should be worn.”

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